Catch the aurora - 10D7N Finnish Lapland itinerary

2013/2014 winter is one of the best year to see northern lights. The next best time will be in another 10 years. NASA recently announced that though December 2013 produced a maximum solar peak activity, it's not only through 2013/2014 winter but also into the winter of 2014/2015, double solar peak. 

Taiwanese variety show 食尚玩家 Supertaste is another reason I decided to visit Finland. They did a good job introducing Finland. Due to copyright issue, I'm unable to share their videos here. If you are interested to watch the videos, just type the key words 食尚玩家 20130409

Wow wow wow ... It's time to plan a northern lights holiday!  



Singapore – Sweden Stockholm (transit via Helsinki) – Finland Helsinki – Estonia Tallinn – Finland Rovaniemi (Arctic Circle)

Highlights
  • Santa Claus Village
  • A night stay in glass igloo at Sinettä
  • Christmas market
  • Husky ride
  • Snowmobile ride
  • Northern lights tour
  • Snow Hotel, Ice Chapel

You may want to download word version (with more details) of my itinerary here.



Day 1
Depart from Singapore at midnight

Day 2
Arrive Finland Sweden Stockholm via Helsinki in the morning. 
Visit Saluhall
Visit The Royal Palace 
Visit Stockholm Cathedral 
Visit Stockholm old town and old town Xmas market  
Stay overnight at home stay, no breakfast 



Day 3
Visit Stockholm city hall

Visit Drottningholm Palace 
Stay overnight at home stay



Day 4
Depart from Stockholm late morning and arrive Finland Helsinki early afternoon. 
Visit Lutheran Cathedral
Visit Hakaniemi Market Square, Hakaniemi Market Hall
Visit Old Market Hall (Vanha Kauppahalli), Market Square
Stay overnight at Helsinki Hotel Finn Tripadvisor review.

Day 5
Day trip from Finland Helsinki to Estonia Tallinn (by ferry) AFerry 
Visit Tallinn old town
Visit Tallinn Town Hall (Raekoja Plats) and Xmas market 
Stay overnight at Helsinki Hotel Finn $136/night no breakfast. 



Day 6
Depart from Helsinki at noon and arrive Finland Rovaniemi early afternoon 
Northern lights by car and on foot by Lapland Safaris, pick up at 20:55 return at 01:00
Stay overnight at Rantasipi Pohjanhovi Tripadvisor hotel review



Day 7
Husky safari by Lapland Welcome, pick up in the morning and send back to hotel at noon, 1 hour husky ride
Visit Santa Claus Village
Visit Santa Park 
Snowmobile aurora safari by Lapland Welcome, pick up in the evening and send back to hotel after midnight
Stay overnight at Rantasipi Pohjanhovi Tripadvisor hotel review



Day 8
Transfer to Arctic Glass Igloo at Sinettä
Snow sauna
Stay overnight at Arctic Glass Igloo/ 469/night/room, breakfast included


Day 9
Check out from Arctic Snow hotel
Visit Arctic Snow hotel
Visit Rovaniemi town, relax activity (e.g. shopping) for the day
Visit Rovaniemi Church, Lumberjack’s Candle bridge
Depart from Rovaniemi in the evening. Transfer to Singapore via Helsinki at midnight



Day 10
Arrive Singapore late afternoon 


Budget/pax
SIN – Helsinki/ Stockholm SGD1700
HEL – Rovaniemi €99
HEL – Tallinn €92
Hotel €562
Local transport €120 = SGD200

Travel insurance SGD84
Food 16 (5 meals provided by hotel) meals*SGD40/meal = SGD640
Rides (husky + northern + snowmobile + Santa park + palace entrance) = €374 = SGD830

Misc SGD292
Total SGD5000 


Average SGD340 (US261)/day/pax

Winter safari
Husky ride, 2h 138€
Northern lights, 4h 79€
Snowmobile, 2h 99€
Snowmobile husky, 30min 219€
Ice breaker, 4h cruise 399€
Snowmobile + ice fishing, 5h 118€
Snowshoe trip 69€
Cross country skiing trip 69


Updated 14th Jan 2015

Click here to read day 1day 2day 4day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 report








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24 comments

  1. Im keen to go finland next yr..

    For glass igloo, im looking at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort...still planning..hope to see more update.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kakslauttanen igloo village was one of hotel in my list when I did my planning initially. After I did some research, I noticed that this hotel is always fully booked and transportation is not that convenient for us since we will be base in Rovaniemi most of the time and I do not want to spend additional money (air ticket etc) to Kakslauttanen. I will update as soon as I come back from my trip. So excited!

      Delete
    2. I assumed you are nw having a good time there ~ shall wait for more updates from you.

      Delete
  2. You have an awesome trip there.
    I have too booked my tickets in Dec, but may I know is the services you engaged is solely for Rovaniemi?
    I will like to visit Ivalo too, and hope to find a service that includes these two. Is there any Finland agency that you have know and heard of ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      Yes, I signed up these activities (husky ride, aurora viewing etc) in Rovaniemi, other than that everything else is free and easy. Where do you come from? I saw a lot of Europeans sign up with Thomson Holiday - http://www.thomson.co.uk/destinations/europe/finland/lapland/rovaniemi/holidays-rovaniemi.html

      Hope this help!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply. Is there any Finland travel agency I can sign up? I am looking further up Lapland - Ivalo. Do the ones you engage do the route?

      Delete
    3. I'm not quite sure about Finland travel agency. I only signed up excursions activity in Rovaniemi with http://www.laplandsafaris.com/en/ and http://www.laplandwelcome.fi/

      Delete
    4. Thank you very much for the info. Do youthink it is worthwhile to visit the zoo?

      Delete
    5. Hi I didn't visit the zoo. I think worth a visit if you are interested in animal.

      http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Attraction_Review-g798832-d581281-Reviews-Ranua_Zoo-Ranua_Lapland.html
      http://www.laplandwelcome.fi/activities/summer-safaris-in-rovaniemi?id=247

      Delete
    6. Thank you for the info.

      Have a good wkend!

      Delete
    7. Hi Iva ,
      May I know did you sign up online for your excursions via http://www.laplandsafaris.com/en/ and http://www.laplandwelcome.fi/?

      Just want to know whether safe to prepay online by credit card.

      Delete
    8. Hi Keith, yes I made payment online thru these 2 websites.

      Delete
  3. Great blog... just what I needed as I've plans to visit either Finland or Iceland this November. Still deliberating whether to go with one of the local tour agencies or F&E like yours!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i stumble upon your blog when i goggle for finland travel from singapore.. great information you have here.... i planning for 2016Dec, hopefully we are able to catch the Northern light... as some says not 100% can see....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seeing aurora is purely luck. Ppl who are not staying in aurora zone is not able to plan trip date as per aurora forecast since most forecast is only useful and available up to 28 days. I suggest you spend at least 6-7 days in aurora zone (maybe 2-3 locations) to maximize your chance. Last year I spent 3 nights in Rovaniemi and I only managed to see very very faint aurora (cloudy at all time), only my camera could captured it under long exposure and I wouldn't consider I have seen it, not visible to naked eyes at all. Then this year I spent 4 nights in Iceland and 2 nights in Lofoten Island, I managed to see aurora 1 night in Iceland (raining all the time but still managed to spot it the last night in Iceland and it was drizzling actually) and 2 nights in Lofoten (weather was fantastic, no cloud super clear sky). Also it is not necessary to sign up aurora viewing tour, you probably will only spend 1-2 hours outside to spot aurora and this kind of tour is not cheap. I just choose to stay somewhere away from city light in my 2nd trip to northern Europe, I had the whole night to spot aurora.

      Hope these help!

      Delete
    2. thanks for the info... hopefully it will not be dimmer as there are report stating it will only be strong again in the next decade.. nonetheless.. the trip up there is sure worth exp... :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Iva,

    Love your itinerary ..
    Just wondering with your winter gear in the snow, did you rent them or buy them?

    Thanks
    V

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi V, what kind of winter gear are you referring to? I bought all my winter wear from Singapore.

      Delete
  6. HI Iva,
    I'd like to know about the Arctic Snow Hotel. Is it worth it in your opinion? Or you can get similar experience somewhere else?
    Thanks. :)
    Ayda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ayda, yes if you have never been to any ice bar, ice chapel or snow hotel. It's an eye opening experience to me.

      Other than Arctic Snow Hotel, there are a few snow hotels in Scandinavia, like
      Snow Village in Finland - http://www.snowvillage.fi/
      Kirkenes Snowhotel in Norway - http://www.kirkenessnowhotel.com/
      ICEHOTEL in Sweden - http://www.icehotel.com/

      Delete
  7. Hi Iva, Thank you for sharing your travel experiences. It was very informative.
    I would like to ask you about the trip you made in Dec 2014 to Finland.
    You arrived at the Helsinki airport at 0615 and departed at 0800 to Stockholm. Was it very rush to get your luggage, go through security etc in that short 1hr and 45mins? I am wondering if I can attempt the same feat. Thank you for answering.
    - KH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KH, our luggage was sent all the way to Stockholm, we did not collect luggage and checked in again. Our flight (Finnair) touched down Helsinki on time so 1 hour and 45 mins transit time was more than enough for us. Here is the airport map - https://www.finnair.com/sg/gb/information-services/at-the-airport/finnair-ticket-office-and-transfer-service-desks

      Delete
  8. Hi IVA,
    what a mind blowing blog!!! :P i'm trying to plan on my trip, but as mentioned there is slightly less chances of seeing the northern lights after 2016. Would you mind sharing the app you have used for the forecast?
    Will try going to Finland around March or in your opinion December is best?

    Cheers, by the way, the winter wear full gear such esp for extreme snow - pants, gloves, ear muffs, winterboots -> you mentioned you bought all in singapore, is there a place to rent when you go there?
    plus your snowmobile trip and sledge with the huskies -> do they provide the winter clothing equipment?

    Appreciate your reply and more travels for ya mate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christine, you can find more details from this page - http://whenshetravelstheworld.blogspot.sg/2016/10/catch-aurora-how-to-plan-trip-to-see.html

      I bought down jacket, fleece jacket and long sleeves from Uniqlo. You can buy from Qoo10 or even Taobao. I don't know where you can rent these items, maybe you can try Carousell. I was given overall, boots and gloves from the husky and snowmobile excursion company, but we still need to wear jacket (not down) inside.

      Hope these help!

      Delete